Hey Big Spenders – Rinehart and Forrest move on QLD resort acquisitions

Purchases going ahead on two of the state’s most iconic resort brand names

Lashing out some serious money on the Queensland resort scene, billionaire Gina Rinehart is preparing to fork out multi-millions to purchase Great Keppel Island while Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Tattarang has more than $40 million to buy Lizard Island.

Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting confirmed the company has entered into an agreement to potentially acquire Great Keppel Island, and while full details have yet to be released, it is understood the price tag will be around the $50 million mark.

A Hancock Prospecting statement said the potential redevelopment of Great Keppel Island was an opportunity to make the resort one of the best resorts in Australia, with its special location and white sandy beaches.

Plans include the creation of a world-class, year-round beach club, sandy bars, shopping, and experiences circling around a marina modelled on Spain’s Puerto Banus and geared towards both domestic and overseas tourism.

Current development approvals for the island include a 250-room beach front hotel, 300 luxury apartments, 285 luxury villas, 9000sq m of retail shops and a 250-berth marina. The airstrip also has approval to be extended from the current 800m.

Hancock Prospecting said with the announcement of the 2032 Olympics to be held in Brisbane, the redevelopment of Great Keppel Island presents as a great time to showcase Queensland as a premium, world class destination.

The transaction is subject to conditions being satisfied, including suitable State and Local Government approvals being provided that allow viable redevelopment of the island.

Meanwhile Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s company Tattarang has reportedly purchased the 40-villa Lizard Island from Hong Kong-based SEA Group for $42 million.

Located directly on the Great Barrier Reef, the resort is part of a preserved National Park covering 1,013 hectares and accessible by private air charter from Cairns Airport

This is the second major resort acquisition for Tattarang within three weeks, the company having purchased the award-winning health retreat Gaia just three weeks ago.

The retreat, located close to Byron Bay in northern NSW, was founded in 2005 by a consortium including Olivia Newton-John.

Set across eight hectares of pristine hinterland with views of the Byron Bay and Ballina coastline, Gaia boasts 22 luxury rooms and suites, a restaurant, large lounge area and deck, retail boutique and reception.

The property also includes a wide range of recreational facilities including a naturopathic consulting room, day spa with 10 treatment rooms (14 beds), saltwater heated swimming pool, sauna and spa, yoga studio, fitness centre, tennis court, walking tracks and outdoor fire pit.

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